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The Labyrinth
2009-2012

Design

The Labyrinth is a kinetic sculpture and interactive multimedia environment. It is composed of three concentric circular hallways that are suspended from above and rotate independently inside and around one another. The hallways are made of sheer fabric with large openings to adjacent layers. Projections flood through their transparent walls and paint the entire space with imagery and shadows. At the center of the space is a lit, rotating tree-sculpture and inner room. The speed and direction of the layers, as well as the color of the lights on the inner sculpture are controllable live via circuitry designed by the artist. The imagery is also controlled live and is expressed by 1 or 2 projectors. This versatility and expressive controllability allows for a conversation between the environment, music, and the people within.

The piece is truly hypnotizing to move through and dance in because the different movements from the walls on either side create profound perceptual illusions of motion as you explore the space.  It can create a wildly chaotic or a tranquil atmosphere depending on the speed, color and the imagery.

My favorite discovery about this piece that I learned about his piece is that when you lie down at its center and look up, your complete peripheral vision is surrounded by a complexly interweaving mandala of lines circles and glowing fabric. When you lie down so that gravity is not an indicator of direction, it is virtually impossible to not feel like you are floating and spinning in a delightful space. It is a truly entrancing illusion that i did not expect but is now one of my favorite features of its experiential art.

Showings and Publication

This installation has been professionally featured at art events, gallery shows, and large festivals on the East Coast including the Winter Festival of Wonders in Baltimore, and Forward Festival in Washington DC. It will also be featured in an upcoming book "Kinetic Architecture: Designing with Movement" by Dr. Carolina Stevenson of Andes University, Colombia.

Installation Specs

The piece is approximately 15' diameter x 10' tall. It is approximately 85 lbs, transportable and weather-proof. It has been a success at both indoor and outdoor events.

Technical Description

This project required a lot of multidisciplinary research in everything from mechanics, sewing, projection art, electronics, programing and more. It has gone through many versions and has taken several years of refinement to bring it where it is today. Much of its mechanical systems were designed in Solidworks and was importantly built to be light-weight, weatherproof, and easy to break down, transport and install. It's outer skeleton is made from PVC pipe, and its center utilizes threaded steal pipe, wood and extruded aluminum. It has multiple stacked bearing systems at its center that spin via 3 independently controlled DC motors and custom machined timing pulleys with belt drives.

RGB LEDs illuminate the hanging sculpture in center the piece and are controlled live by the artist via a control circuit built around a PIC microcontroller . Another circuit controls the speeds and directions of the hallways via knobs and switches. The circuit utilizes a second PIC chip coded in C language and high-current motor controllers. This, along with live video mixing gives the artist complete expressive control of the environment in real time as it engages with people inside.